Registered nurses comprise the largest percentage of the health care force. Nurses make a huge impact in the lives of others as they work directly with the patients and their families. They are highly skilled in providing bedside and out-patient care and in dealing with other patient interactions. The job description of an RN is very broad as they perform numerous essential and critical duties at a hospital setting. They are responsible for evaluating patients, administering IVs and medications, monitoring vital signs, providing patient education, counseling, and diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries.
For years, nursing has proven to be one of the most resilient and stable professions worldwide. However, thousands of nursing jobs still needs to be filled in order to overcome the shortage of nurses in hospitals. As a result of this shortage, the demand for registered nurses remains high. This increasing demand for nurses led to an increase of students who want to study nursing and become registered nurses.
Individuals who are interested in becoming a registered nurse must first obtain a high school diploma or a GED before going into nursing school. To be able to get a license and practice nursing, a person must graduate with a nursing degree from an accredited college or university. There are a lot of options in obtaining a degree in nursing. In general, nursing students are able finish their RN program within two to four years. They may obtain their degrees either from a community college or from a four-year university. An Associate degree in nursing (ADN) is obtained from a two-year college while a Bachelor’s degree (BSN) is offered by universities. A BSN takes four years to complete.
These days, obtaining an ADN RN degree is the most common pathway towards a nursing degree. This makes it faster for students to start working as a nurse. Students in an ADN RN program focus more on a hands-on approach to nursing while BSN RN programs include more nursing theory and research training. Nurses who would like to hold an administrative position or would like to go into research and education are required to be graduates of at least a BSN RN program. A BSN RN program also paves the way towards a Master’s degree in nursing. A diploma in nursing is also offered, usually through hospitals, and normally takes 1 year to finish. A nursing diploma is considered as a non-degree and it has more licensure limitations.
Some prospective students may choose to attend an RN program at a traditional two-year or four-year nursing school. However, there are also some RN programs offered online to students who want a more flexible schedule. Most RN online programs cater to current LPNs/LVNs who want to transition from being an LPN to an RN. RN online programs are also available to current RNs with an ADN degree who want to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Like most cases, always make sure that the RN online program you choose is accredited by your state’s board of nursing.